A new political party – “the Citizens” – led by Alexander (Aleko) Elisashvili, a former independent member of Tbilisi Sakrebulo, held its presentation on August 4 and unveiled plans to run for October parliamentary polls.
In his remarks, party leader Alexander Elisashvili, who scored second unexpectedly in Tbilisi Mayoral race in 2017, vowed to bring “fresh air” into Georgian politics. He hailed “returning dignified life to Georgians” as the chief goal of the newly-set up party.
Addressing the crowd in a courtyard of 6 Alexandre Kazbegi Avenue, where he grew up, Elisashvili briefly spoke of the need for decent jobs, sufficient income, and quality education. He said it takes “true, honest and professional people” with “clean past” in politics to achieve those goals.
There will be no tender-winning businessmen, singers or sportsmen here in our team, nor party switchers, he remarked.
Elisashvili confirmed to run as a majoritarian for Tbilisi’s Saburtalo single-mandate constituency and appealed his voters to “repeat” the success of 2014 when he won Saburtalo majoritarian seat in Tbilisi City Council (Sakerbulo).
Other leaders of the party, Levan Ioseliani (who ran in 2019 by-elections for Mtatsminda district), Tsira Elisashvili (professor at the Georgian Institute for Public Affairs (GIPA) and co-founder of preservationist Tiflis Hamkari NGO), Ivane Norakidze (lawyer, head of Elisashvili’s campaign headquarters in 2017), Ioseb Kenchadze, a young lawyer, as well as Genri Dolidze, Batumi-based poet also addressed the public.
They have, among others, focused on Alexander Elisashvili’s track-record of “one man’s battle against the system” and stressed that the party will fight “elite corruption” persisting in the country.
Alexander (Aleko) Elisashvili, who chaired the presidential pardon commission from November 2013 to April 2014, previously served as a journalist for various TV channels and radio stations.